Mar 13, 2017 | By Tess

If self-driving cars are the future of the automotive industry, then Goodyear will be right alongside them, crafting and manufacturing the tires of the future. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which has been making tires for over a century, has unveiled its newest concept tire, the Eagle 360 Urban.

The futuristic tire, which was recently presented at the Geneva Motor Show 2017 in Switzerland, is a 3D printed, AI-equipped spherical tire. The tire, which is deserving of its awesome name, Eagle 360 Urban, is reportedly the first concept tire that is powered by artificial intelligence, giving it the ability to sense its environment, and to make decisions and transform based on that information.

“A revolution will take place at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity,” commented Jean-Claude Kihn, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa. “As this unfolds, tire technology will be even more important than it is today. To safely navigate their surroundings, the autonomous vehicles of the future will need to learn to cope with the millions of possible unknowns we face in every day driving scenarios. To do so they will need access to data and the ability to learn and adapt.”

The 3D printed concept tire is showcased in a four-minute animated visualization, which shows the viewer how the tire is crafted using a number of robotic arms, and how it is then deployed to the road. Bearing the Goodyear brand name, the spherical tire is placed into a vehicle (unrecognizable by today’s auto-standards), which then takes to the road in a very futuristic-looking city.

As shown, the concept tire has the ability to interact with its passengers, and can recognize and adapt to its environment. For instance, if it starts raining, the tire’s bionic skin can morph to have dimples for extra traction, which can then revert to be being smooth when conditions are dryer. Similarly, if the tire suffers a minor damage, say by driving over a piece of glass, the Eagle 360 Urban can repair itself automatically.

One of the main concerns about driverless cars is their safety on the road. Unsurprisingly, Goodyear has accounted for this factor as it says its innovative concept tire offers fluid transport and motion on the road, thanks to a tire that can move in any direction, and a connected network of cars and infrastructure that allow the Eagle 360 Urban to navigate cities seamlessly.

Additionally, if the spherical tire becomes seriously damaged, drivers won’t have to worry about taking it into the auto shop or replacing it on their own with wedges and a jack, as the autonomous vehicle can drive itself to a service station, where magnetic levitation allows for a quick tire replacement.

As Goodyear explains, the concept tire’s “brain” will be able to:

“1. Continuously sense the road condition and the surrounding environment in real-time and check on its own status in real-time.

2. Process the information it captures using neural networks trained with deep learning algorithms to decide what to do and learn for the future.

3. Transform using its own morphing tread and tire/vehicle interface.

4. Interact with other vehicles and all of the elements making up the Internet of Things to share the information it has captured and lessons learned.”

Obviously, we are not expecting to see the Eagle 360 Urban on the roads anytime soon, as even the concept seems to need more fleshing out. The idea, however, is out there now, so this could very well be the tire of the future.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Bart Gaczorek wrote at 3/13/2017 1:36:05 PM:

Hurry up, because Audi RSQ use them in 2035!

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